Under the visionary artistic leadership of Donald Byrd, Spectrum Dance Theater has become the preeminent modern dance company of the Pacific Northwest and has garnered praise worldwide. Byrd’s body of work is varied and impressive, spanning more than four decades pushing the boundaries of movement and message. The work may be purely an aesthetic experience for an audience to absorb his ambitious dance vocabulary, or it may wrap itself around a compelling civic issue, encouraging a community to examine ideas and attitudes that may impact lives long after the dancing has stopped.
Strange Fruit draws its title from the 1937 poem and song of the same name by Abel Meeropol that was made famous by the great jazz singer Billie Holiday. The lyrics are an extended metaphor linking a tree’s fruit with lynching victims. The impetus for this work is the employment of lynching as a tool of racial terrorism during the Jim Crow Era. For this dance/theatre work, the facts of lynching act as a springboard into a highly personal interior space and state of mind. Strange Fruit tracks Byrd’s feelings as a response to lynching and plays out as a series of dance/theatre vignettes. The piece is abstract but informed by the reality of these brutal acts of terrorism. Byrd and members of the company will participate in a Talkback discussion with audience members after the performance.
Saturday, February 19th 2022 - 7:30pm CT
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.
Donald Byrd will also be presenting some of his work and joining a panel discussion withFAA Dean Kevin Hamilton, Latrelle Bright (Clinical Assistant Professor of Theatre), and Cynthia Oliver (CAS Professor of Dance and Associate Vice Chancellor—Humanities, Arts and Related Fields) on Wednesday, February 16th at 4:30pm CT. More info can be found here.